'Women in Sports' Panelist Profile: UO's Whitney Wagoner
Whitney Wagoner worked in corporate marketing at the NFL in New York before assuming her current position at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.
Whitney Wagoner worked in corporate marketing at the NFL in New York before assuming her current position at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

First in a series

The second annual “Women in Sports” career seminar, presented by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will be held Saturday, Jan. 24 in Portland, Ore.

Designed for college and high school females interested in pursuing sports-related careers, the seminar will take place in the Georgia Pacific Room at Memorial Coliseum.

The event will feature panelists from a broad cross-section of occupational paths, including coaching, administration, business, marketing, media, media relations, NCAA compliance, sports medicine, ticket sales, and officiating. Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with -- and seek career advice from -- a slate of experienced sports professionals in a round-table format. 

Below is a profile on a panelist who will be featured at this year's event.

Panelist Profile: Whitney Wagoner

University of Oregon I Senior Instructor and Program Manager, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center

Whitney Wagoner is senior instructor of sports business and program manager for the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. Wagoner returned to the Lundquist College of Business Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in the fall of 2003 to teach various sports business courses at both the undergraduate and MBA levels, including sports marketing and sports sponsorship.

A 1996 graduate of the University of Oregon, she spent seven years in a variety of corporate marketing positions with the National Football League in New York. While at the NFL, she was responsible for the management of several key sponsorship programs including Motorola, Sony, and IBM. Wagoner also spent four years with Peter Jacobsen Productions as event staff for the Fred Meyer Challenge. She completed her graduate business studies at the Stern School of Business at New York University, earning an MBA in marketing and economics in 2003.

Wagoner leads all undergraduate sports business curriculum development and experiential learning programs for the Warsaw Center, as well as industry and alumni outreach initiatives. She is the faculty advisor for the Warsaw Sports Business Club and a media spokesperson for the Warsaw Center. Wagoner is a former member of the UO's Intercollegiate Athletics Committee and the Eugene Komen Race for the Cure Committee. In 2008, she won the Lundquist College of Business Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Dean’s College Service Award.

Colleges attended:

  • University of Oregon (undergraduate)
  • New York University (graduate)

College major:  B.S. in Marketing, and an MBA

Current position: Senior Instructor and Program Manager, Warsaw Sports Marketing Center

Years in current position: 11
Primary job responsibilities:  Teach undergraduate courses in sports marketing and sports sponsorship.  Manage and build the experiential learning programs for undergraduate students.  Mentor the Warsaw Sports Business Club.
Things I enjoy most about my job:  My relationships with my students!  They are inspiring, energizing and so fun.  I get to travel for my job, which is amazing (China, India, Singapore, Germany, New York, San Francisco). I get to be involved with many sectors of the sports industry.  It is also pretty flexible, which allows me to also be the kind of engaged parent I want to be.

First job in the sports industry:  Event staff for the Fred Meyer Challenge (golf tournament managed by Peter Jacobsen Sports).
Previous jobs in the sports industry:

  • UO Athletic Department -- intern in college; football recruiting

  • Peter Jacobsen Sports -- marketing and development, golf tournament event staff

  • National Football League -- corporate sales & marketing manager

A key mentor who helped me on my career path: My mother. She always told me to do whatever makes me happy.

Most influential person in my early professional development (and why):  Jim Warsaw, our program's founder.  His passion for the business and for helping students gave me the confidence that I could really make something happen for myself.

How I got involved in my professional career: I fell into it, really.  My mother worked for Peter Jacobsen, so I started with "unpaid internships" related to the golf business in junior high.  But it was my internship at the University of Oregon Athletic Department that really cemented my own interest in a career that merged my skills in business and my passion for sport.
Biggest hurdle I overcame breaking into the sports industry: The biggest challenge was transitioning from my entry-level job at the NFL into a management role with the company.

Key attributes that have helped shape my career path: Attention to detail.  Interpersonal and communication skills, both internal to my organization and with external partners.  Passion, thick skin and a good sense of humor.
Knowing what I know now, the one thing I would do differently in college to help me on my career path: Get sales experience.

Best advice I’d give to a young female wanting to work in sports: Work hard. Believe in yourself.  Be confident. And add a dash of patience.
If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? Oprah Winfrey.  I am a seeker, on the path toward fulfilling my own best self and amplifying my impact on the world around me.  I would love to have a reaffirming conversation about how to navigate that path.  Justin Timberlake is a close second, for what I believe are obvious reasons.

Favorite sports team:  Oregon Ducks

Favorite athlete:  Serena Williams

Most memorable sports-related moment: While living in New York, I attended the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup playoffs in the same year.